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Kwame Alexander - Author

About the Author

Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's book author, playwright, producer, public speaker, performer, and winner of the Newbery Medal for his novel-in-verse, The Crossover. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than five hundred students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area. 

Featured books by Kwame Alexander

Other books by Kwame Alexander

The Undefeated

The Undefeated

Author: Kwame Alexander Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

This is for the unforgettable. The unafraid. The undefeated. From New York Times bestselling-author Kwame Alexander comes this powerful and important ode to black history: the strength and bravery of everyday people and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest artists, athletes, and activists. With references to lyrics and lines originally shared by our most celebrated heroes, this poem digs into the not-so-distant past to underline the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

Kwame Alexander Book 3

Kwame Alexander Book 3

Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2019

How to Read a Book

How to Read a Book

Author: Kwame Alexander Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/07/2019

A stunning new picture book from Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet! This New York Times bestselling duo has teamed up for the first time to bring you How to Read a Book, a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading. Find a tree-a black tupelo or dawn redwood will do-and plant yourself. (It's okay if you prefer a stoop, like Langston Hughes.) With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander's evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet's lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book. How to Read a Book has received three starred reviews!

The Undefeated

The Undefeated

Author: Kwame Alexander Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/04/2019

Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

Swing

Swing

Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2018

Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah's love interest since fifth grade, Sam, will never take it past the best friend zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has got big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool. To go from lovelorn to ladies' men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru-his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd-and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant, but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom's birthday gift at the Thrift Shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a gold mine of love letters from the 1950s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up, way up, for Noah and Walt, the letters set off a chain of events that change everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate. In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who's struggled to find their voice, and take a swing at life.

Swing

Swing

Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2018

New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell this lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that speaks to anyone who's struggled to find their voice. And the surprise ending shines a spotlight on the issues related to our current social divide, challenging perspectives and inspiring everyone to make their voice heard. When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they've got to find cool. Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah's love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt's Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt's Hug Life mentality. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he's always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out? At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it's a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can't shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized. As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate. Swing: Is written by New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award-winner Kwame Alexander Is a young adult fiction novel told through Kwame's one-of-a-kind free-verse poetry Is ripe with themes of hope, courage, and love Masterfully combines jazz, art, baseball, friendship, and love into what many are calling Kwame's best book yet Tackles some of the most painful social issues of today, including racial prejudice

Surf's Up

Surf's Up

Author: Kwame Alexander, Daniel Miyares Format: Board book Release Date: 15/05/2018

Solo

Solo

Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2017

New York Times bestseller! Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he'd give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father. In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he's been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift. A contemporary hero's journey, brilliantly told. -Kirkus Reviews, starred review A rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll. -Booklist, starred review Many readers will identify with Blade's struggle to find his place in a family where he feels like an outsider. -Publishers Weekly The authentic character development and tone will strike a chord with young adults. -School Library Journal

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